Advertising during the Super Bowl has always been an important event unto itself. The 30 and 40 second timeslots that populate the big game are guaranteed to be seen by millions of viewers and frequently go viral. That makes the limited number of spaces incredibly desirable, which, of course, drives up the prices. For a long time, the spots have gone for more than $1 million, but now, NBC is pushing for even more ad revenue from some of the big corporations. The network is asking for a whopping $4.5 million per advertisement for this upcoming season’s Super Bowl.
For those who only have a casual understanding of how Super Bowl ads work, that number seems like a lot. In fact, it is a lot of money for one tiny slice of the advertising pie. And while it is a big increase over the asking price Fox first asked for this past year (about 12%), it’s not altogether surprising or even outlandish. As more and more television viewers consume their content via DVRs, advertisers are gravitating toward events fans are likely to watch live. The Super Bowl is the definition of a live event. It will be seen by more than one hundred million fans in the United States, and an overwhelming majority of them will gladly watch the commercials.
According to Variety, NBC is reportedly pushing the majority of bidders to also agree to comprehensive advertising packages for less valuable sports properties the network has broadcast rights to. So, for example, they’re asking bidders to step up and buy content during English Premiere League Soccer matches, though obviously the same amount of money buys a whole lot more ads during those telecasts.
At some point or another, every single one of these commercials will be sold. The only question now is whether NBC will have to slightly adjust the prices as the game gets closer to make sure that happens. It won’t be by a lot, but it’s entirely possible the numbers could drop down to $4 million or so once it gets closer to the winter.
As for those companies who do secure Super Bowl time, that’s only half the battle. With so many commercials competing for the general public’s attention, many of them will get lost in the shuffle. So, the goal is obviously to be one of the half dozen or so that people show up to work the next day talking about. Some will take the funny route. Some will take the serious route. Some will reference pop culture. Every single one will try their damndest to stand out from the pack.
For the sake of everyone purchasing spots, I sincerely hope the upcoming Super Bowl winds up featuring two great teams that fans actually care about.